Most NFL Draft seasons I’ll have at least a top 150 big board for you by draft day. But I’ve got a little perfectionist in me, and it didn’t feel right to rank players out to 150 without having properly studied all the prospects that would have been included. The Bucs wild offseason meant a little bit of a late start for me on studying this class, but I plan to continue covering the draft in future years. Even if it’s just as a hobby.

A couple things that are important to note about my grading process and my Top 100 Big Board so you don’t start your weekend overly triggered (maybe you still will):

• I model my grading scale after the approach of NFL teams, which means it is stingy. Most NFL teams have less first-round grades and smaller overall boards than those you see in the media. I’m not one of those analysts who will have 25-30 first-round grades and 40 second-round grades. The reality is that most players who attempt to make it in the NFL will not succeed, and many that we project to be among the best at their position never get there. We all wish it wasn’t so, but that doesn’t stop it from being a reality.

As a result, my grading scale is pretty strict. Here’s the breakdown and color coded key:

Can’t Miss Grades – BLUE – Prospects that I believe will be among the very best at their position group by their third year in the NFL.

First-Round Grades  GREEN – Prospects that I believe will be excellent starters in the NFL.

Second-Round Grades – PURPLE – Prospects that I believe will range from very good-to-good starters in the NFL.

Third-Round Grades GOLD – Solid starters, sometimes with significant upside that has yet to manifest itself consistently on the field, who will at their floor be important role players in the NFL.

Fourth-Fifth-Round Grades – RED – Grades range from spot starters/solid role players at their ceiling (4th) to backups/special teams value (5th) in the NFL.

• My board does NOT account for positional value at all, other than obviously excluding kickers, punters and long snappers because I don’t know how to scout them. For example, I have Breece Hall 20th overall on my board with a second-round grade, but I would never consider selecting him at No. 20 if I were an NFL team. But in a vacuum, I believe he will play to the level of a very good starter in the NFL. So I rank him accordingly, regardless of the fact his position is far less valuable than others.

My Big Board just doesn’t account for positional value because I’m not an NFL team and I don’t need to stack my board like one. So read between the lines there.

Also, every year the majority of my grades fall in the third-fourth round range. It’s important to understand realities with these prospects. Many of these players range from “solid starters to backup/special teams” caliber players during the course of their careers. Very few venture into the “good-to-very good starter” territory, and even fewer into the “elite” territory. So it’s important to me to make sure my grades reflect that. I’m not into spraying and praying and giving half the class a first or second round grade.

Here’s my 2021 NFL Draft Big Board if you’re interested in seeing my past work.

Now you are free to hate on me from a place of understanding – rather than ignorance. Enjoy!

2022 NFL Draft First Round Grades

1. CB Sauce Gardner
2. S Kyle Hamilton
3. OT Charles Cross
4. OG Zion Johnson
5. OT Evan Neal
6. LB Devin Lloyd
7. OT Ikem Ekwonu
8. EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
9. EDGE Aidan Hutchinson
10. WR Treylon Burks

I have just 10 first round grades in this class, and none are blue chip grades. Last year I had 17 first round grades, and four blue chip players. This is one of the worst top 10s in my eight years of extensively covering the NFL Draft. However, I’m a big fan of Sauce Gardner and Kyle Hamilton. Charles Cross is my No. 1 offensive tackle in a very close race, simply because he’s the best and most consistent in pass protection. And his run game concerns are overblown.

My only surprise Round 1 grades are Zion Johnson and maybe Treylon Burks. Burks was very close to falling out of Rd 1 for me. But I think he can be a WR1 in the right system. Johnson is one of the best players in this class, per my evaluations. He has everything an elite guard needs in the NFL.

The last thing I’ll mention: I moved Thibodeaux ahead of Hutchinson on my big board. That’s different from the positional rankings I released a month ago. Frankly, I just think Thibodeaux is the player I would draft first based on their tape. And I don’t want the rumors about Thibodeaux’s character to impact my grade/evaluation of him. I don’t have the vantage point into who he is as a person to cast judgement. If he fails because of that stuff, I’ll take the ‘L’, with the caveat my evaluations will always be about tape/testing/measurables/production. I’ll leave the health and character evaluations to people more qualified than I am.

2022 NFL Draft Second Round Grades

11. C Tyler Linderbaum
12. DT Devonte Wyatt
13. EDGE Jermaine Johnson
14. WR Garrett Wilson
15. CB Kyler Gordon
16. CB Derek Stingley
17. S Lewis Cine
18. WR Chris Olave
19. CB Kaiir Elam
20. RB Breece Hall
21. CB Andrew Booth
22. NCB Daxton Hill
23. LB Nakobe Dean
24. DT Jordan Davis
25. CB Trent McDuffie
26. EDGE Boye Mafe
27. WR Drake London
28. WR Jameson Williams
29. EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
30. EDGE Travon Walker
31. DT Travis Jones
32. TE Greg Dulcich
33. LB Quay Walker
34. WR Skyy Moore
35. RB Kenneth Walker
36. RB Isaiah Spiller

Yes, Kyler Gordon is my CB2 over Derek Stingley. I wrote about their evaluations in the recent Pewter Report CB preview. I think Gordon will go higher than people expect. Also, I’m a big Breece Hall fan. He should be the best running back in this class. Other surprises in my Round 2 rankings are Boye Mafe, Greg Dulcich and two more running backs.

No. 30 overall is where Travon Walker lands on my board. Nobody would have been surprised by that a few months ago. The only thing that has changed is becoming more aware of the NFL’s perception of Walker. He’s a good, solid player with a high floor. I doubt he’ll bust in the NFL. But I want to see functional pass rush athleticism and ability from an edge rusher on tape before I give them a Round 1 grade. I just didn’t see that with Walker.

By the end of my Round 2 grades, you can tell I’m high on the cornerback class. I have seven cornerbacks in my top 25 players. Some of that is due to liking the class a lot on tape. But a lot of it is due to the class being thin at a lot of other spots. That’s made stronger position groups more dense in sections of the rankings than most years.

2022 NFL Draft Third Round Grades

37. TE Trey McBride
38. EDGE David Ojabo
39. DT DeMarvin Leal
40. DT Logan Hall
41. NCB Jalen Pitre
42. OT/OG Tyler Smith
43. OT Trevor Penning
44. OG Kenyon Green
45. S Nick Cross
46. WR George Pickens
47. EDGE George Karlaftis
48. OG Dylan Parham
49. S Bryan Cook
50. LB Chad Muma
51. S Jaquan Brisker
52. LB Leo Chenal
53. WR Jahan Dotson
54. LB Christian Harris
55. WR John Metchie
56. EDGE Sam Williams
57. OG Cole Strange
58. TE Jelani Woods
59. CB Cam Taylor-Britt
60. EDGE Josh Paschal
61. LB Brian Asamoah
62. TE Jeremy Ruckert
63. CB Jalyn Armour-Davis
64. EDGE Drake Jackson
65. WR Christian Watson
66. RB Dameon Pierce
67. C Cam Jurgens
68. QB Malik Willis
69. OT Bernhard Raimann
70. LB Damone Clark
71. QB Desmond Ridder
72. OG Luke Goedeke
73. OG Sean Rhyan
74. RB Tyler Allgeier
75. OG Jamaree Salyer
76. LB Channing Tindall
77. TE Charlie Kolar 

Fourth Round Grades

78. DT Perrion Winfrey
79. WR David Bell
80. WR Jalen Tolbert
81. QB Sam Howell
82. CB Coby Bryant
83. CB Roger McCreary
84. QB Kenny Pickett
85. OG Darian Kinnard
86. WR Alec Pierce
87. OT Daniel Faalele
88. EDGE Nik Bonitto
89. TE Cade Otton
90. QB Matt Corral
91. DT Matthew Butler
92. WR Calvin Austin
93. EDGE Kingsley Enagbare
94. EDGE DeAngelo Malone
95. S Kerby Joseph
96. RB Brian Robinson
97. LB Brandon Smith
98. CB Zyon McCollum
99. DT Phidarian Mathis
100. DT Eyioma Uwazurike

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Bob
Bob
25 days ago

So looks like Hall would not be best 1st round pick, but rather Cine or Gordan. I like idea of Traviss Jones. He seems clone of Vita V. and would command double teams, freeing up edge rushers. Would be very happy with Cine though as I think he has star potential.

Kimba
Kimba
25 days ago

where is kasey Hudson these days? never see her anymore and Jon–really very sorry to see you do anything besides what you are doing at pewter report